HOP Duo Greg Bridet and Rob Matthews with coaches Colin Williams and Q Shillingford

Finals

Friday 13th April 2012

York Hall, Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 9HG

Weigh-in: 2.30-4.30pm Doors: 5.30pm Boxing: 6.30pm

“Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy”(H.O.P) two boxers have reached the all England ABA National Finals after boxing to victory in the ABA Semi Final South, Sudbury, Suffolk

H.O.P Team Captain and last years ABA Semi Finalist Robbie Matthews blasted his way to the National Final place with an impressive points win 25 – 15 against the very experienced and rated Kieran Redding (Chadwell St Mary ABC). After the first round the score was 5 – 5, Matthews then switched tactics and finished the second round 17 – 10, a tough last round saw both boxers give there all, but Matthews uppercuts and short hooks to the body paid off, with Matthews walking away the victor with a final score of 25-15 and a place this years Elite ABA National Final 2012.

The Portsmouth News Sportsman of the year Runner up and National U20 Champion, H.O.P Heavyweight Star Greg Bridet took another step forward to winning his second national title in one year as he roared away with another class performance against the very tough and rugged Gary Daley from Southend (ABC). With Bridet leading after the first round 9 – 7, again a switch of tactics form the H.O.P corner took him to a 30 – 11 lead after the second round. Daley went for broke in the last, throwing all he had at the Portsmouth Heavyweight Champion, however Bridet instinctively covered up and caught his opponent with pain seeking hooks and uppercuts at all angles and ranges. The final points decision was 41 – 19 and the place booked for Greg Bidet in this years Elite ABA National Final 2012.

H.O.P Boss and ABA Advanced Coach “Q” Shillingford commented: These two athletes have stepped up to another level at there chosen sport, what they both did was prove that hard work, commitment, dedication and self belief will prevail. H.O.P and the city are very very proud of the great sportsmanship and character of these two fine athletes; you could not meet two well mannered gentlemen. They are great role models for the young people in the city, county and Region, as they give their all to achieve their goals.

This years ABA title is slightly special due to a couple of reasons; England’s top boxers will go head to head at the ABAE Championship Final, which return to historic York Hall in London’s Bethnal Green on Friday 13th April 2012.

This year’s finals have a special significance as they’re taking place in the host city of the Olympic Games for the first time since 1948. The ABAE Championships are traditionally a major stepping stone for athletes with potential, and the winners on Friday 13th April will have an opportunity to challenge boxers on the Olympic programme at the GB Championships in May.